Saudi Atheist Facing 10 Years in Jail and 1,000 Lashes for Blasphemy Receives Prize from Reporters Without Borders

ZaH09dTA very brave Saudi Arabian blogger, Raif Badawi (pictured above), was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for the (from the viewpoint of the Saudi authorities) hideous crime of starting a progressive website. It contained ideas that truly frightened and terrified them, for example religious tolerance and women’s rights, and so they came down hard on him.

His initial sentence at the time was seven years and 700 lashes but that was overturned briefly and then replaced with the even harsher sentence last May. That was then appealed, but in September that the decision was upheld.

In recognition that this is a man taking a very brave stand for basic human rights inside an utterly abhorrent and immoral theocratic dictatorship, the latest news is that he has now been awarded the “netizen” prize by Reporters Without Borders.

He sent a message that was read out at the award ceremony by Dr. Elham Manea who received the Prize on behalf of Raif Badawi, from the Mayor of Strasbourg …

Saudi Friends?

We as a nation are “friends” with Saudi Arabia … why?

They are a truly abhorrent theocratic dictatorship that breaches almost every single very basic human right going, here is a summary of their specific track record

If that is still not enough then consider that by using oil revenues to export their extreme variation of Islam around the world we now live in an age when moderate variations of Islam are in decline and being replaced by a far more radical violent intolerant variation.

Make no mistake, these people stand in complete opposition to all the basic universal human rights, note that I use the word “universal” and not “western”, this is because such rights are indeed universal and apply to all.

Are there any who are true heroes that are willing to take a public stand for human rights?

If you also wonder if we have any friends in Saudi Arabia, then the answer is that yes we do and the name of one of them is – Raif Badawi.

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